Thursday, January 25, 2018

2016 SF/F Guide Rocket Stack Rank


Best Stories

Novellas

Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire  Time: 2h:09m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 04/05/16
(Portal Fiction; Wayward Children) Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children helps kids who passed through a portal to another world and returned unable to cope with this one.
Penric And The Shaman by Lois McMaster Bujold  Time: 2h:05m (Novella)  IssuePenric And The Shaman 2016
(High Fantasy; Five Gods) Young Penric, a powerful but fledgling sorcerer, joins the hunt for a fugitive sorcerer, suspected of killing his own best friend.
(SF; The Journeyman) Teodorq and his friend Sammi agree to organize security for a nobleman's archaeological expedition. They expect danger from the local tribes, but not from the artifacts themselves.
The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell  Time: 1h:32m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 11/22/16
(Horror; Lychford) Just before Christmas, the ghost of a little boy appears in the vicarage and disturbs the vicar and her two friends.
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What We Hold Onto by Jay O'Connell  Time: 1h:14m (Novella)  IssueAsimov's 06|16
(SF) In 2066 a woman struggles over continuing life-support for her comatose mother and over what to do with the things she's leaving behind.
(Time Travel) Paul finds a job selling drugs for the mafia in 1770s America.

Novelettes

Blood Grains Speak Through Memories by Jason Sanford  Time: 40m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 195
(SF) Frere-Jones controls the nanobot "grains" that help protect the ecology in the bit of land she "anchors." She's come to view the grains as a tyranny, but there doesn't seem to be much she can do about it.
Discards by David D. Levine  Time: 35m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 03/30/16
(Superhero SF; Wild Cards) Tiago, a fifteen-year-old orphan boy scraping by on his own in Rio de Janeiro, contracts the "Wild Card" virus and ends up horribly disfigured. But the virus has given him a gift too.
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I Married a Monster from Outer Space by Dale Bailey  Time: 42m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 03|16
(SF Humor) Ruth, a 22-year-old Walmart cashier, meets a very weird-and-scary-looking alien, who seems down on his luck, and brings him home with her.
Lazarus And The Amazing Kid Phoenix by Jennifer Giesbrecht  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueApex 86
(Superheroes) A kid who was burned to death returns to life as a human torch, eager for revenge. Old Man Gasper has a similar story, a different power, and advises caution.
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Lost: Mind by Will McIntosh  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 07|16
(SF) Before Mimi dies from Alzheimer's, Walter gets her an illegal consciousness transfer done in India. Then all he has to do is sneak the copy back into the US.
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Not Quite Taterona Kempi by Ryan W. Norris2  Time: 54m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 05|16
(Hard SF) Fifty million years after the extinction of humanity, a new intelligent race tries to understand records left on the moon.
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Of the Beast in the Belly by C.W. Johnson  Time: 41m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 04.05|16
(SF) Nawiz has pursued the boy who ruined her life across the galaxy. Before she can get her vengeance, they're both swallowed by a gigantic sea creature, and it will be a struggle merely to survive.
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Prodigal by Gord Sellar  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 12|16
(Near-Future SF) Benji was an ordinary terrier until his master decided to have him sentientized.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Fairy Tale) Young Miryem supports her family lending money at interest, but things get difficult when someone from Faerie makes her an offer she can’t refuse.
Teenagers From Outer Space by Dale Bailey  Time: 38m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 119
(Historical SF) In 1955, Nancy's best friend Ellen dates a bad boy who introduces her to Bug Town, where aliens live. Nothing is the same after that.
(Hard SF) Davin is spending a year alone on Ekye to observe the local wildlife and, he hopes, to recover his lost creativity.
The Mind Is Its Own Place by Carrie Vaughn  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Hard SF) Mitchell was a navigator on the Francis Drake, but something terrible happened. The doctors tell him he's losing his mind, but he doesn't believe them. If only he could remember what happened.
The Visitor From Taured by Ian R. MacLeod  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Near-Future Hard SF) Lita learned Rob's obsession with alternate universes in college, but waning interest in science made it hard for him to explore it.
They Have All One Breath by Karl Bunker  Time: 40m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Post Singularity) James seeks fulfillment through his sculpture, even though it all seems pointless in a perfect world run by Ais.

Short Stories

(SF) Dr. Kostia spent thirty years interpreting broadcasts from the Coronals for other people on Earth. The last broadcasts have caused a lot of disruption, even in her own family.
Conscience by Robert R. Chase  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 01|16
(Military SF) Constanza flies a stealthed warplane for the US in a near-future war, and she's picked for a series of special missions carrying a single, silent, soldier up to the front and back.
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Das Steingeschรถpf by G.V. Anderson1  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 12/12/16
(Historical Fantasy) On the eve of the Nazi takeover, a young German man's first assignment fixing a living statue becomes more complicated than he expected.
Destroyed By The Waters by Rachel Swirsky  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueDrowned Worlds 2016
(Climate Change) Derek and Zack visit the underwater ruins of New Orleans, where they'd honeymooned fifty years before.
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Down and Out by Ken Wharton  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueScience Fiction by Scientists 2016
(Hard SF) Trying to find "outside," Ogby's team digs into the ice at the bottom of the world, but Roov's team has been getting better results blasting rocks at the top.
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Everything that Isn't Winter by Margaret Killjoy  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 10/19/16
(Post Apocalypse) Just as things are looking up, survivors in a Northwest community face a threat from the east.
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Innumerable Glimmering Lights by Rich Larson  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueClockwork Phoenix 5
(Hard SF) Four Warm Currents leads a project to drill through the ice at the Roof of the World to finally discover what’s on the other side, but the closer he gets, the more opposition there is.
Minor Hockey Gods Of Barstow Station by Beth Cato  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueGalactic Games 2016
(Sports SF) Gloria and her friends play one last game of hockey before they leave the alien space station they've been stuck on ever since their dreams of interstellar competition collapsed.
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Rock, Paper, Incisors by David Cleden  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(Fantasy Horror) The narrator resents being transformed into a monster to fight for her tribe, not least because she thinks they're screwing it up.
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Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex by Ferrett Steinmetz  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Near-Future SF) Lydia's boyfriend, Ross, was just a brain in a jar. So how, exactly, did she injure him during sex?
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The Final Path by Genevieve Cogman  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueNow We Are Ten 2016
(Horror) Ignoring how the adult world is falling apart, teenage Annie tries to lose herself in a new video game.
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The Rock in the Water by Thoraiya Dyer  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(Modern Fantasy) A Hatian girl and a Syrian girl flee their countries but with very different results.
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The Story of Kao Yu by Peter S. Beagle  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 12/07/16
(Chinese Fantasy) Sometimes a  unicorn assisted Judge Kao Yu, and because he was so just and honest, he never feared its judgment. Until now.
The Things My Mother Left Me by P. Djรจlรญ Clark  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(African Fantasy) After her father's death, Tausi needs someone to take her from Epoulu before her aunts marry her off.
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The Uncarved Heart by Evan Dicken  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 212
(High Fantasy) Despite the rebellion, the narrator makes friends with a local girl, and she wonders when their bird-like overlords will come to replace her heart.
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Three Points Masculine by An Owomoyela  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 72
(Military SF) On top of fighting against an anarchist revolution, a soldier copes with what he's sure is a man pretending to be a woman in the Women's Volunteer Corps.
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Unreeled by Mercurio D. Rivera  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 06|16
(SF Horror) EncelaCorp "streams" the consciousness of explorers to distant parts of the galaxy. Jonathan worries that the experience may have changed his wife somehow.


Notable Stories

Novellas

Runtime by S.B. Divya  Time: 1h:16m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 05/17/16
(Transhuman SF) Marmeg's augments are illegal and hand-tweaked, but if she can win a race for augmented humans, she can earn enough money to become licensed and have a real future.
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The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle  Time: 1h:32m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 02/16/16
(Black Lovecraftian Horror) In 1924 Harlem, 20-year-old Tommy Tester plays bad jazz and runs minor scams. When an old man offers him $500 to play at his house, he knows there's a catch. It's just not what he expects.
The Burning Light by Bradley P. Beaulieu and Rob Ziegler  Time: 1h:55m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 11/01/16
(Post Apocalypse) The Light is an addiction that afflicts telepaths. Colonel Chu hunts Zola, an addict who may hold the key to the problem.
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The Coward's Option by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 1h:09m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 03|16
(SF; Andrea Cort) On Caithiriin, murderers get a choice between execution or anti-violence treatment. No human has had to make that choice before, but it's suspicious that the natives almost always prefer death.
The Ghoul King by Guy Haley  Time: 1h:50m (Novella)  IssueTor Novella 07/12/16
(Post Apocalypse; Dreaming Cities) A treacherous "angel" diverts Quinn from his goal to search the ruins of the Dreaming City of Columbus for the key to continuing his journey west.
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The Snow Of Jinyang by Zhang Ran  Time: 1h:11m (Novella)  IssueClarkesworld 117
(Time Travel) In 979 AD, the city of Jinyang stands on the brink of destruction, but someone seems to be trying to help it with technologies from the future.
The Soul Behind The Face by Adam-Troy Castro  Time: 59m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(SF; Andrea Cort) Draiken used to be a spy, but now he wants revenge on his former masters, and he has a complicated plan to enlist a former associate.
Wyatt Earp 2.0 by Wil McCarthy  Time: 1h:17m (Novella)  IssueAnalog 01.02|16
(SF) A violent Martian mining town reconstructs Wyatt Earp to try to restore order.

Novelettes

A Deeper Green by Samantha Murray  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 205
(Fantasy) The colony can't tolerate assault, and it depends on Juvianna's gift of making people forget crime and motivation alike. But what if she used it preventively?
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A Strange Loop by T.R. Napper  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 262
(SF) In a future Australia, Irving sells his memories for ready cash, hoping to put his life back together. To the extent he still remembers it.
All Your Cities I Will Burn by John Schoffstall  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 265
(SF Apocalypse) The kilometer-wide asteroid didn't quite destroy civilization, but the things it brought with it just might finish it off.
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Balin by Chen Qiufan  Time: 36m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 115
(Slipstream) As a boy, Peng receives a paoxiao, a mythical humanoid creature with a great ability for mimicry. As a man, Peng tries to do research on the creature.
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Cloud Dweller by E. Catherine Tobler  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 199
(Historical Fantasy) Vasily is a tightrope walker for the circus. When he thinks no one is around, he walks in thin air on lines of light only he can see.
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(Hard SF) At the height of diplomatic meetings, the toilets in the Station start to malfunction, even though diagnostics say nothing is wrong. So they call for an expert.
Epitome by Tegan Moore1  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(SF AI) Shelby's friend Vivian faces a long recovery from a head injury, and she can't bear the loss of her company, so she starts using an AI surrogate.
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Fifty Shades Of Grays by Steven Barnes  Time: 37m (Novelette)  IssueLightspeed 73
(SF) The end of the world starts when an ambitious marketing guy gets a cryptic assignment to create an ad campaign to "make ugly sexy."
Finnegan's Field by Angela Slatter  Time: 36m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 01/13/16
(Fantasy/Horror) Three years ago, nine-year-old Madrigal Baker disappeared. Recently, she returned, and she's still nine. But her mom is sure something else is wrong.
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Foxfire, Foxfire by Yoon Ha Lee  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 194
(Military Fantasy) Baekdo, a fox who wants to become human, needs one more kill to achieve his goal. A collapsing city in the middle of a civil war seems like a good place to do it but there are complications.
(Historical Fantasy) In 1879, little George and his big brother run away from their farm and sail down the river toward a new life in Pittsburgh
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(Fairy Tale) Jocelyn is a princess a lot like Sleeping Beauty, but with a much better relationship with the fairies. Not that that helps her.
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Her Scales Shine Like Music by Rajnar Vajra  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 08/03/16
(Hard SF) Left behind on an alien planet while his shipmates return to Earth to secure their claim, Ross struggles to fill the time. Then strange things start to happen.
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Motherboard by Jeffrey Thomas  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueInterzone 263
(Magical Realism) Teenage Leep works making circuit boards somewhere in the third world. He's so awkward and quiet that people think he's crazy, but he sees a very different world.
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(Present-day SF; Stan) Stan's dad told the most outrageous stories, and claimed their family were weird because they were really aliens. In retirement, Stan believes it might even be true.
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Passelande by Robert Reed  Time: 37m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 11.12|16
(Near-Future SF) Lucas does jobs for backups that their human originals won't agree to. But some backups are more trouble than others.
Patience Lake by Matthew Claxton  Time: 27m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 08|16
(Dystopia) Casey, a disabled vet in a cheap, rebuilt body, tries walking to another city to find work, but trouble is waiting out in the country.
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(Near-future SF) Bay lives alone and subsists off things that wash ashore from cruise ships and such. Then Gabby washes up, alive, and complicates her life.
The Briar and the Rose by Marjorie M. Liu  Time: 31m (Novelette)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(High Fantasy) The Duelist serves the cold, beautiful Carmela but loves Rose. Separating Rose from Caramela is going to be the challenge of her life.
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The Cavern of the Screaming Eyes by Jeremiah Tolbert  Time: 30m (Novelette)  IssueLightspeed 77
(Portal Fantasy; Dungeonspace) Teenage Ivan lost his brother in d-Space, but his new friend Domino is eager to explore a dungeon that's supposed to be safe.
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The Future Is Blue by Catherynne M. Valente  Time: 29m (Novelette)  IssueDrowned Worlds 2016
(Post Apocalypse) Teenage Tetley lives in a human settlement (one of the last) built on a miles-wide floating garbage dump. She explains why everyone hates her now.
The Jewel And Her Lapidary by Fran Wilde  Time: 56m (Novelette)  IssueTor Novella 05/03/16
(High Fantasy) Two teenage girls, Lin, the last Jewel, and Sima, the last Lapidary, struggle to fight the invaders who've taken the kingdom by treachery.
The Metal Demimonde by Nick Wolven  Time: 51m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 07.08|16
(SF) A century from now, Tipper works at an automated carnival, in a world with few jobs for humans. She falls in with Luke, a boy trying to make an illegal manual car work.
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The Mighty Slinger by Karen Lord and Tobias S. Buckell  Time: 32m (Novelette)  IssueBridging Infinity 2016
(Far-Future SF) Developers are planning to resurface the entire Earth to create properties for people from Mars and Venus. But can an old singer and his band rally the solar system against it?
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The Orangery by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueBCS 214
(Greek Mythos) The trees in the grove used to be women, and the Guardian protects them zealously from the men who still pursue them.
The Stone War by Ted Kosmatka  Time: 28m (Novelette)  IssueF&SF 05.06|16
(Fantasy) From prehistoric times, the stone man crouched on a hill. Every now and then a person would find it and try to get it to do something. But to succeed was to die.
(Superhero SF; Wild Cards) In New York City, ugly mutants stay in Jokertown, but teenage Rikki and her friends want to do some exploring. It’s not exactly illegal, but it’s not exactly safe either.
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The Three Lives of Sonata James by Lettie Prell  Time: 26m (Novelette)  IssueTor.com 10/05/16
(Mind Uploading) The prospect of living forever through "iterations" is still new, and not everyone likes it. Sonata wants to make a statement by declaring she will only upload twice.
The Tomato Thief by Ursula Vernon  Time: 46m (Novelette)  IssueApex 80
(Fantasy) Someone (or something) is taking Grandma Harken's tomatoes, but finding the thief leads to a real mystery--and danger.
The Whole Mess by Jack Skillingstead  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 09|16
(Fantasy Math) A strange student give Professor Dunn a math problem whose solution will change the world. Literally.
Theories of Mind by Conor Powers-Smith  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 01.02|16
(Hard SF) Fresh from Earth, Peter finds himself assigned to an unpromising part of the colony planet, and he finds the natives even harder to talk with than he'd expected.
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Toppers by Jason Sanford  Time: 25m (Novelette)  IssueAsimov's 08|16
(Post Apocalypse) Hanger lives in a canvas bag on the outside of the Empire State Building, but the secrets to survival are hidden in the deadly mist far below.
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Touring with the Alien by Carolyn Ives Gilman  Time: 39m (Novelette)  IssueClarkesworld 115
(SF) Months after mysterious aliens scattered their spacecraft across North America, no one has a clue what they want. Avery knows what one of them wants, though: it wants a tour.
We Will Wake Among the Gods, Among the Stars by Caroline M. Yoachim and Tina Connolly  Time: 43m (Novelette)  IssueAnalog 01.02|16
(SF) Nanne accompanies a jungle expedition that seeks gold, but she secretly looks for a lost city with high technology.
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You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay by Alyssa Wong  Time: 33m (Novelette)  IssueUncanny 10
(Historical Fantasy) In a magical Old West, young Ellis has a love for the desert and an affinity for dead things. Both of these attract unwelcome attention from strangers visiting from back East.

Short Stories

A Future Far Too Bright by Yosef Lindell  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 123
(Near-Future SF) Jesse Is just in the third grade, but his dad sends him letters telling him about the time-machine experiment he's working on.
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Advantages by Louise Marley  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueGalactic Games 2016
(Sports SF) At the 2144 Olympics, hosted by the thriving space colonies who survived Earth, Zory aims to win despite her lack of augments.
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Against The Stream by A Que  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 118
(Time Travel) An "illness" causes a man to wake each morning in the previous day, and as he lives his life backwards, he sees the mistakes he made.
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An Open Letter To The Person Who Took My Smoothie From The Break Room Fridge by Oliver Buckram  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Cartoon Humor) Someone in the Alliance of Doom has stolen Dr. Nemesis's smoothie, and he e-mails his fellow super-villains to complain.
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Angles Of Incidence by Nancy Fulda  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 10|16
(Hard SF) The human colony on Kokkal IV can't expand without permission from the "Evermother," but the local aliens require they "assimilate the shadows" first.
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Bones of the World by Jennifer Hykes  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 80
(Dark Fantasy) Maggie's fisherman father died at sea recently, and since then, she seems to have acquired some supernatural powers.
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Breathe Deep, Breathe Free by Jennifer Marie Brissett  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 73
(SF) Gas leaking from a deep well is slowly asphyxiating everyone in a community, and two boys discuss what they can do about it.
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Circa Diem by Carole Johnstone  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 262
(SF Fantasy) When Earth's day changed to 96 hours, some adapted (with drugs) and some did not (with lights). Now they hate/fear each other. But two young people are curious.
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Dearly Departed by Kelly Stewart1  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 211
(Horror) Perdita lives in the house on the hill and tends the graveyard. A traveler on a mission disturbs her solitude, and a thing under the graveyard needs to be killed.
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Dragon-Smoked Barbeque by M.K. Hutchins  Time: 02m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 09/12/16
(Slipstream) Grandpa is gone, but the young narrator is determined to win the Tastiest Ribs competition in his memory, even if he's not quite sure how you're supposed to use the dragon.
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Dress Rehearsal by Adrian Tchaikovsky  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueNow We Are Ten 2016
(Fantasy) Dr. Kampfe's group of travelling players visits Sevengraves, a place so poor that every performance feels like charity.
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Early Warning by Martin L. Shoemaker  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 04|16
(Time Travel) Art's twenty-years-future self returns to warn the graduate student that he's about to ruin his life.
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Empty Shoes by the Lake by Gay Partington Terry  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 12|16
(Modern Fantasy) Abused by his father, Rafi leaves his small town, but he sends his best friend Becca a gift that will change both their lives.
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For The Sake Of The Game by Gray Rinehart  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueGalactic Games 2016
(Sports SF) Pawl Maricelli, a referee in the athletic contest meant to strengthen the fragile peace between humans and Errellians, is threatened by those who don't want peace.
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In Our Rags Of Light by Shira Lipkin  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 08/15/16
(Modern Fantasy) Twenty years ago, Jess was a teenage swamp witch in the Everglades. She flirted with the boys and took what she wanted, but Ben saw her for what she really was.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
Last Gods by Sam J. Miller  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueDrowned Worlds 2016
(Climate Change) On the edge of the ruined land, village people worship Orcas as gods. Unbeliever Kelb is up to something, and Adze tries to help him because she loves him.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 NClarke+2
Last One Out by K.B. Rylander1  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 07.08|16
(Post Apocalypse) Filip is an advanced AI, and his job is taking care of Ella, who may be the last person left on Earth.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 SFRevu+1
(Modern Fantasy) Sergio is called to remove an offensive mural, but when he touches it, it makes him "remember" things from other people's lives.
Loser by Matthew Hughes  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueArchonate 03/08/16
(Near-Future SF) A former critic of the new US president works on a labor camp building a wall. Then the new government gives him a way to earn his freedom.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
Mice Among Elephants by Larry Niven and Gregory Benford  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBridging Infinity 2016
(Hard SF) Sunseeker decelerates into the Excelsius system to investigate a gravity-wave generator built by potentially hostile aliens.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
Montague's Last by Ekari Mbvundula1  Time: 10m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 02/29/16
(Historical Fantasy) In a prison in 18th-century France, Montague struggles to redeem himself by completing one last magical device before he dies.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
My Generations Shall Praise by Samantha Henderson  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(SF) A woman on death row is offered a fortune for her children if she'll let another woman take over her body.
Natural Skin by Alyssa Wong  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 78
(Horror) In near-future Toronto, a young Chinese-Canadian girl sneaks out to seek the services of an illegal underground surgeon.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 SFRevu+1
Neural Alchemist by Tedd Roberts  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueScience Fiction by Scientists 2016
(Zombie) Ever since he became a zombie, Professor Wissen has felt unwanted by the university, although some of his students think it's kind of cool.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
Not a Miracle But a Marvel by Tim Pratt  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Modern Fantasy) Two couples come to a cabin by the lake to relax and enjoy four days together. Then one of them disappears.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
(Portal Fantasy) Rabbit holes open at random, summoning people to fairy-tale universes where they are the heroes. Louisa keeps waiting for one to open for her.
Of Sight, of Mind, of Heart by Samantha Murray  Time: 08m (ShortStory)  IssueClarkesworld 122
(SF Android) You adopt an android baby. You name him Ben. He grows amazingly fast.
On Darwin Tides by Shauna O'Meara  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueEverything Change 2016
(Climate Change) In 2048, things are bad in Malaysia, especially for young refugees with no papers. Maslinia is sure she could be successful, if she could only get a break.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
One Giant Leap by Jay Werkheiser  Time: 15m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 11/21/16
(Hard SF) A corroded railing gives way, and Kent falls from a Venusian cloud city to near-certain death. But it takes a long time to fall fifty kilometers.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 BASFF+1
Pagpag by Samuel Marzioli  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 89
(Zombie) Jay helps hunt zombies at night, but he secretly want to find his wife's zombie to say goodbye.
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Penny For a Match, Mister? by Garth Nix  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Historical Fantasy) In the Old West, a murder under a full moon brings a thing across “The Line.” A thing seeking vengeance, and with a broad idea of responsibility.
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Pompoms And Circumstance by Esther M. Friesner  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueGalactic Games 2016
(Sports SF Humor) KayT means to lead her girls to victory in the cheerleading event at the Galactic games, provided the Snargs don't eat them first.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 RHorton+1
Razorback by Ursula Vernon  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueApex 80
(Folk Tale) Sal, the country witch, took a razorback hog as her familiar and named him Rawhead. Sal was a good witch, but then Rawhead disappeared. Simple, but effective.
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Red Dirt Witch by N.K. Jemisin  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueFantasy 60
(Black Historical Fantasy) In the closing years of segregation, Emmaline uses her magic to help neighbors and protect her children, for trouble is coming.
Red in Tooth and Cog by Cat Rambo  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 03.04|16
(SF) When a feral robot steals her phone, Renee acquires a keen interest in the little robotic ecosystem that flourishes in the park.
Reflected by Kat Howard  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Science Fantasy) As a physics grad student, Sophie researches mirrors as potential gateways to alternate realities. She shares her unexpected results.
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Sabbath Wine by Barbara Krasnoff  Time: 22m (ShortStory)  IssueClockwork Phoenix 5
(Modern Fantasy) Malka is a little Jewish girl living in Brooklyn in 1920. She likes her new friend, David, even though he’s older than her, black, Christian, and claims to be dead.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 Nebula+2
Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueStarlit Wood 2016
(Fairy Tale) Tabitha has been walking a long time, trying to wear out seven pairs of iron shoes; Amira has been sitting alone on a glass hill that suitors try to climb.
Serenade by Isabel Yap  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueCyber World 2016
(Cyber SF) Anj and EJ's fledgling hacking business gets a contract to decrypt an old AI-encrypted USB drive.
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Seven Birthdays by Ken Liu  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueBridging Infinity 2016
(Far Future SF) Mia marks her birthdays as powers of 7, which gives her lots of time to work out her issues with her mother.
Smooth Stones and Empty Bones by Bennett North1  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|16
(Horror) Helena's mom's a witch, their small town is blaming them for a missing boy, she and her girlfriend have to stay in the closet, and to top it off, there are chicken skeletons walking around.
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Some Things I Probably Should Have Mentioned Earlier by Laura Pearlman  Time: 05m (ShortStory)  IssueMothership Zeta 3
(SF Humor) A man gets a letter from his wife, explaining a few things. She's not exactly human, but that's not the worst part.
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(Hard SF; Jackaroo) On the planet First Foot, the small town of Joe's Corner faces conflict over building a radio telescope close to local alien artifacts.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 RHorton+2
Sparks Fly by Rich Larson  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 70
(Slipstream) Electricity does strange things around Arthur, especially when he gets excited. He's excited about Christina, so their first date is going to be a real adventure.
That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 03/16/16
(SF) Despite not being a telepath, Calla worked out a way to play chess with her captor, Major Larn, during the recent war. Now they're going to finish their game.
That Which Grows On Trees by C.S. Lane1  Time: 03m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 06|16
(SF Humor) Around 50 to 100 years from now, a group of scientists resorts to counterfeiting money to shore up their inadequate research grants.
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The Age of Discovery by C.W. Johnson  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueTo Shape the Dark 2016
(Hard SF) Edith’s lab wants to improve the Casimir pump enough to use it for space travel, but Edith can’t help running her own experiments even without permission.
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(SF Adventure) Everyone calls Tomika "Space Cadet," but she really feels she doesn't belong in this world.
(Paranormal) Anita used to study ghosts, but now she is one, and she's finding it frustrating to always seem to be arguing with her husband.
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The Green-Eyed Boy by Peter S. Beagle  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 09.10|16
(High Fantasy) The old magician rarely takes students, but young Schmendrick has so much potential--if he could just make his spells come out right.
The Grocer's Wife: Enhanced Transcription by Michael Libling  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 02|16
(SF) Thomas is in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and his wife, Lynn, is trying to support him. Andy is spying on him, and wondering why the government is interested in a retired grocer.
The Jeweled Nawab Jungle Retreat by Priya Sridhar  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 214
(Indian Steampunk) Mr. and Mrs. Coates came to India to hunt the most difficult prey, and no one can convince them that hunting the Great Worm is suicide.
The Persistence of Memory by Rachel L. Bowden1  Time: 07m (ShortStory)  IssueAnalog 01.02|16
(Hard SF) Ten-year-old Lee and his best friend Ben discover a dead animal near their school playground--an animal that shouldn't exist at all. Chilling.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1
The Rhythm Man by James Beamon  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 11.12|16
(Historical Fantasy) Horace was a celebrated blues player, but he failed to make the move to jazz. Now he's washed up, and desperate enough to sell his soul, if need be.
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The Savannah Liars Tour by Will McIntosh  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueLightspeed 68
(Modern Fantasy) In the near future, Ben uses cryosleep for a side-effect: while he's under, he can meet his dead wife. Trouble is, he has a new wife.
The Singularity Is in Your Hair by Matthew Kressel  Time: 09m (ShortStory)  IssueCyber World 2016
(Cyber SF) Stricken with muscular dystrophy, the teenage narrator lives almost entirely in VR, where she hopes a rogue AI can save her.
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The Sound Of Salt And Sea by Kat Howard  Time: 13m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 10
(Fantasy) Every year, Far Island rises from the sea, and the spirits of the dead return to Near Island, until the bone horses usher them back on the third day. The horses need a living rider, and Rowan is sure she can do it and survive.
Other Reviews  RSR Mini-Review [4]  Recommended By: RSR+1 Readers+0
The Sweetest Skill by Tony Pi  Time: 24m (ShortStory)  IssueBCS 197
(Chinese Fantasy; Candyman Ao) New to Chengdu, young Ao doesn't expect the fearsome tiger spirit to ask him for a favor--to rescue the Guardian of Chengdu. Ao has some magic, but cleverness may be more important.
The Tenth Man by Bryony Pearce  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueNow We Are Ten 2016
(SF Horror) Professor Macguire's work on multiple universes drove him insane, but Dean hopes to learn enough from him to finish his dissertation.
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The Visionaries by Albert E. Cowdrey  Time: 23m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|16
(Urban Fantasy) Jimmy and Morrie's "Paranormal Services" investigates a haunted forest--tree farm, actually.
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This Is a Letter to My Son by K.J. Kabza  Time: 16m (ShortStory)  IssueStrange Horizons 04/11/16
(Near Future SF) Kellsey's a transsexual 11-year-old girl. Improved technology makes that easier, but also creates new problems, and she seeks advice from recordings her mother made for her "son" before she died.
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Three Paintings by James Van Pelt  Time: 14m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 04.05|16
(SF) Vincent is a famous painter, but he fears he's grown stale. He has a wild plan to reinvigorate his painting, which starts with making a backup copy of himself.
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Touch Me All Over by Betsy James  Time: 17m (ShortStory)  IssueF&SF 01.02|16
(Fantasy) Hilil weaves and ties the best knots in Sulik, but a curse causes made things to fall apart at her touch.
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Travelling into Nothing by An Owomoyela  Time: 21m (ShortStory)  IssueBridging Infinity 2016
(Far-Future SF) Kiu Alee escapes a death sentence by agreeing to pilot a very special vehicle to a very xenophobic arcology in deep space.
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Turing de Force by Edward M. Lerner  Time: 12m (ShortStory)  IssueScience Fiction by Scientists 2016
(Hard SF) Two extraterrestrial AIs arrive in our solar system and try to decide whether human beings are intelligent.
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Under One Roof by Sarah Pinsker  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueUncanny 12
(Horror) When newlyweds Courtney and Josh rent an old Victorian in Baltimore, they're told to stay out of the attic. But they hear noises up there at night. Footsteps.
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Water Scorpions by Rich Larson  Time: 11m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 10.11|16
(SF) Noel's mom is trying to raise an alien child. Noel, age 10, hates this alien "brother" but can't seem to get that across to him.
(SF) Filo/Gee, an intelligent giant amoeba, isn't the ideal college roommate, particularly since he experiences the world through touching and tasting, which is hard on books, electronics, and relationships.
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When Grandfather Returns by S.N. Dyer  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 10.11|16
(Navajo Fantasy) An old Navajo myth intersects the modern world unexpectedly.
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White Dust by Nathan Hillstrom1  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueAsimov's 01|16
(Hard SF) The transmitter sends copies of people to remote locations, but the copies don't want to do their jobs, and Margery is in trouble if she can't figure out why.
With Fones by Todd McCaffrey  Time: 20m (ShortStory)  IssueGalactic Games 2016
(SF Humor) If Liz can just get a few more species to participate, she can get bowling added as an event in the Intergalactic Games. It's a bad time to have fone problems.
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You Make Pattaya by Rich Larson  Time: 19m (ShortStory)  IssueInterzone 267
(SF Thriller) The narrator is a con man in near-future Thailand, and he has a scheme that might net him enough to retire.
Your Orisons May Be Recorded by Laurie Penny1  Time: 18m (ShortStory)  IssueTor.com 03/15/16
(Fantasy Humor) Angels who operate the Celestial Switchboard fielding mortal prayer requests get frustrated and even depressed.
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